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Rupert's Fingers Already Closing Around the Heart of the ‘Journal’

MEDIA • Rupert Murdoch won't officially take over the Journal until tomorrow, but he's already dipped his tentacles deep into the paper. Rumor has it the Journal will dismiss two or three dozen people, to be replaced with Rupe's cronies, and then go on a hiring spree. Oh, and apparently Murdoch briefly considered dropping "Wall Street" from the title. Tells you something about where the paper's headed. [NYT] • Sadly, Jane Pratt won't actually be starring in a reality-TV show titled American Ugly, as we reported yesterday. C'mon Jane, don't you love us? [Mixed Media/Portfolio] • New York Post "Metro" editor Dan Colarusso, whom Col Allan praised as "a quintessential New Yorker," walked out of the newsroom and quit yesterday. No word on why, but seems pretty quintessential to us. [Runnin' Scared/VV]

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Remnick Reveals ‘New Yorker’ Hiring Criteria

Rats!
Though they probably made it difficult for j-school students to score juicy interviews, recent revelations of superpower editors in the media have made us feel that we're not sure the days of the shy and retiring redliner — RIP, William Shawn — were so bad after all. In today's Independent, New Yorker editor David Remnick rapidly reduces our opinion of him as he tells us that he went to a fancy college — "God knows why" — his worst trait as a journalist is his "lack of concentration," Iraq is "so depressing," and though he doesn't "write so much," as the editor, he gets to be himself "with all its grave limitations." False modesty is all very well, but Remnick's ruminations about himself as a child make us worry that some of those grave limitations have totally carried over into the magazine's present incarnation. Remembering his own precocious youth, Remnick confesses: "If I come across a kid who's 12 or 13, who seems a little pretentious and doesn't really quite know what he or she is talking about, I think that's OK. It means they're interested." Ladies and gentleman, you heard it here. The mystery of Adam Gopnik's ascendance at the mag … SOLVED. David Remnick: 'New Yorker' Stories [Independent]

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The Splasher Goes Corporate?

East Village: The partly opened Bowery Hotel may be inspiring an Old Brooklyn–style black-star design trend in the area. [Curbed] Gramercy: Does replacing fluorescent lighting with track lighting make an otherwise cookie-cutter Dunkin’ Donuts outlet upscale? [The Real Estate/NYO] Greenpoint: Whoever pays $2.5 million for an unlandmarked Victorian gem will likely tear it down to rebuild on its ample land. [Brownstoner] Harlem: Say good-bye to the Sugar Shack, home to great D.J.'s, dancing, poetry readings, and all-around uptown fun. [Uptown Flavor] Red Hook: Looks like Ikea is joining the infamous “Splasher” in the assault on Brooklyn street art. [Gowanus Lounge] Williamsburg: And speaking of the Splasher, does new evidence suggest that the culprit is actually … American Apparel!?!? [i'm not sayin, i'm just sayin]

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Cute! Kiwiberries and Other Fresh ‘Babies’

In a culture that prizes youth, it’s no surprise that we’ll pay twice as much for a half-size fruit or vegetable if it’s called a “baby.” But are those Lilliputian Brussels sprouts and their ilk actually young? And do they have a special taste?

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Cursed Brooklynites Seek Relief

Suffering?
What doesn't Brooklyn have? An ad in today's Metro promised to undo the curses that plague us, be they addictions, debt, rage, or witchcraft. But if you can't make it out to the Universal Church in Bedford-Stuyvesant on Friday night at seven, call ahead and reserve a prayer. We asked for help in getting rid of our migraines, and the gentleman working the phones added us to the list. Doctors "won't fix all your problems," he said, encouraging us to stop by the church sometime: "How can you taste the food if you never go in the restaurant?" Caution to the cursed: Our man said the phone has been ringing ever since the ad hit the streets, so your prayer may not be answered in a timely fashion. —Jocelyn Guest Metro New York [Official site]

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Last Week in Minor Misunderstandings

dunce
In this installment of our remarkably lax-on-ourselves annotated errata, we're not quite apologizing for a Nader flub, a Central Park slight, and another Brooklyn border gerrymander. But we do find it necessary to clarify a few things.



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Rats Ruin It for Everyone

pizza
Grub Street brings us the worrisome news that the New York City Department of Health is going all vigilante on area restaurants following last week's embarrassing rat infestations. This weekend's victims? West Village stalwart John's Pizzeria and neighboring Risotteria. Operators of both restaurants were furious, as were thwarted customers. Grub Street has all the dirt (which may or may not be in the restaurants themselves). Customers Rush to Pizzeria's Defense [Grub Street]

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Customers Rush to Pizzeria’s Defense

The Health Department can’t win for losing: Having failed to close the vermin-infested KFC–Taco Bell, they’re now taking heat for temporarily shutting down coal-oven institution John’s Pizzeria and neighboring Risotteria. Both restaurants protested their closure in the most emphatic terms, and their customers, far from being spooked, jumped right onboard. In a letter put up alongside the closure notice, John’s tells passersby that the city is “trying to save face”: “After SEVENTY years in business, they have decided we need a sink CLOSER TO the pizza-making area,” the note explains. Loyal customers have contributed their own sentiments: “First they came for the smokers,” wrote one libertarian, “then the pizza lovers.” Meanwhile, a punning Risotteria fan has declared that the inspectors are “full of beans.” Your move, Health Department.

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‘Voice’ Voiceless, Again

MEDIA • David Blum out at the Village Voice. He was the fourth editor there since December 2005. [Gawker] • Flummoxing DVR users everywhere, ABC green-lights a sitcom based on the Geico cavemen commercials. [WSJ] • Pulitzer judging starts today at Columbia University; judges from Willamette Week, the Indianapolis Star, and others read actual printed copies of newspaper articles. [E&P]

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We're Losing the Portable-Toilet Naming Contest

Portable Toilet
New Yorkers are always trying to be cleverer-than-thou, even when it comes to naming their portable toilets. The city is awash in portalets from companies called "A Royal Flush" and "Call-A-Head." But we've got nothing on the rest of the country. We consulted The Blue Book of Building and Construction to find the top twenty unfortunately named portable-toilet companies from near and far: 20. Happy Can Portable Toilets, Atlanta 19. Drop Zone Portable Service Inc., Frankfort, Ill. 18. Blackmas Best Seat In The House Inc., Bradley, Ill. 17. Plop Jon Inc., Port Saint Lucie, Fla. 16. A.S.A.P. Port-A-Pots Inc., Hampstead, Md. 15. Ameri-Can Engineering, Argos, Ind. 14. Bobby's Pottys, Joppa, Md. 13. Johnny On The Spot Inc., Old Bridge, N.J. 12. LepreCAN Portable Restrooms, Chicago 11. Loader-Up, Inc., Sarasota, Fla. 10. Mister Bob's Portable Toilets, Vero Beach, Fla. 9. Royal Throne, Washington, D.C. 8. Tanks Alot, Tomball, Tex. 7. Tee Pee Inc, Roseville, Mich. 6. Wizards of Ooze Ltd., Anacortes, Wash. 5. Oui Oui Enterprises Ltd., Chicago 4. Gotta Go Potties, Tobyhanna, Pa. 3. UrinBiz.com, Chicago 2. Willy Make It?, Oregon City, Oreg. 1. Doodie Calls, New Orleans — Andrew Adam Newman

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Derek Jeter, Jessica Biel Would Have Hot, Ambiracial Children

Derek Jeter has a new lady: Esquire favorite Jessica Biel. The owners of Stereo on West 29th are annoyed a club named Stereo is opening on West 33rd. The Catholic Church is in a tizzy over some book featuring a model-as-Catholic-schoolgirl in various stages of undress (and, finally, no dress). Rudy and Judith Giuliani took a one-and-a-half-day vacation in Italy. Jack Black says Jeremy Piven hates him because Black was cast as the record-store geek in High Fidelity and Piven wasn't. Four women who had been knocking off sample sales all over town finally get caught in the act. Whitney Houston will be homeless in January, unless she comes up with $1 million. Terminator 3 babe Kristanna Loken comes out of the closet, and Michelle Rodriguez is by her side. An apartment building is being converted to condos, and opponents of the plan say a 97-year-old man died because of the construction (instead of, you know, old age). Ted Turner advocates nuclear power, getting Bush out of office, having fewer children. A women accused Rachael Ray's husband of extra-marital kinkiness, but the couple denies it. Emilio Estevez is a self-proclaimed "garageiste." Congrats to Grandpa Donald Trump!

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